en: E=MC² (Mariah Carey album) [info]
It doesn't take Einstein to calculate the secret of Mariah Carey's success. A voice with such ability that it could probably kill added to a reputation that many would kill for equals a global appeal that's spawned 11 studio albums and 150 million odd worldwide sales... and counting.
Somewhere at the start of the Millennium, this equation failed to add up. The Glitter and Charmbracelet era of Carey's career represents a sticky period to say the least. Yet, on the back foot, Mariah produced one of her career highlights in the form of The Emancipation Of Mimi, and, wisely, she follows its lead for this fan-pleasing follow up.
After her lucrative hip-hop team-ups with Snoop Dogg, Nelly and Twista on Emancipation, Mariah returns this time with Damien Marley, T-Pain and Young Jeezy in tow and all of the cameos are sublime; T-Pain's showing on Migrate in particular. Whether it's the reggae outing on Cruise Control, the crunk-pop of Side Effects or the Cristal-soaked hip hop of Migrate, Carey handles every style that her producers throw at her with mind-boggling vocal dexterity.
With all three of these tracks in the album's first half, it's inevitable that Carey eventually steps off the gas. Back to back ballads Last Kiss and Thanx for Nothin' help dim the lights on the previously frenetic start, and by the time, the gospel lullaby of album closer I Wish You Well kicks in, you are ready to be tucked up tight.
Mind you, where Carey's concerned, if you've got it, flaunt it, and all six of the album's ballads will hit home with her fans, even if it'll be sickly sweet overkill for many.
It doesn't quite hit the heights of Emancipation, but E=MC2 will keep Carey on her throne until someone actually dares take on her crown. While, you get the sense that her famous eight-octave vocal range never gets totally stretched, the record is still a showcase for a remarkable voice suited for any occasion. A timely reminder for the UK audience that Leona Lewis still has a long, long way to go.